The owner of Puppies, Puff and Powder, a dog grooming shop off Versailles Road, says the animal cruelty charge against her is “a witch hunt.”
Teka Russell, 38, was charged with second-degree animal cruelty Wednesday after a Frankfort animal control officer found a malnourished female pit bull in Russell’s care in late April, according to Frankfort Police.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Russell said the dog lost weight after giving birth to two puppies. She described the pit bull, named Spidey by her 13-year-old son, as “a real lanky dog.”
“They’ve (animal control) been to our house at least 10 times in the last year, and they never found nothing wrong,” said Russell, who has groomed dogs for 16 years.
“… They’ve been complaining on me for years. We’ve had pit bulls for 20 years.”
She said she owns two other pit bulls, which have constant food and water.
“She ate all the time,” Russell said, claiming the pit bull was only about 5 pounds underweight. “They’re trying to say she’s skinnier than she really is.”
Angie Stewart, director of the Franklin County Humane Society, said the pit bull was about 25 pounds underweight and gained 3 pounds on her first day at the shelter. Russell later brought the puppies to their mother.
Russell “allowed her female pit bull to become very malnourished and very under weight,” according to the complaint filed against her.
Russell is scheduled to appear in Franklin District Court June 19. She said she hasn’t spoken with an attorney and doesn’t have enough money to hire one.
News of the animal cruelty charges won’t be good for business, she said.
“It’s not going to be good,” Russell said. “I’ve been dreading this all along, but I keep saying God won’t give me more than I can handle, so I just keep doing what I can.”